Director: Colette Bothof | 88 minutes | drama, romance | Actors: Carice van Houten, Dragan Bakema, Mohammed Chaara, Tamara Louw, Mercedes Lotero, Adewale Akwande, Miguel Ángel, Yolanda Carmone, Leandro
The director wanted to make a thrilling film about a passionate love that ends tragically, an amour fou. About two young people who are so carried away by each other and their feelings that they literally drown in it. Drowning in love. Who doesn’t really want that?
The title refers to an old children’s song about swans, sailing to England and a broken key. These data are reflected in the film with the necessary symbolism. The makers wanted not only to make visible, but also to make tangible how vague the boundary sometimes is between passion and obsession, love and madness, madness and common sense. Especially for young people in love, who on their way to adulthood end up in a jungle of trial and error. Carice van Houten plays Marleen, who is on the verge of madness, and Dragan Bakema is the potent Vince. A debut film that deserves to be seen, but that does not leave an overwhelming impression.
The soundtrack plays an important role in this film. That soundtrack is certainly well put together and fits perfectly into the atmosphere that this film exudes. At times the music is a bit reminiscent of the techno-Rai music from the film ‘Vengo’, but together with the maximum use of the desolate landscape images of the rough and deserted southern Spain, it sets the atmosphere well. Carice van Houten and Dragan Bakema act very credibly.
The location of the fishing boat where they stay is depicted very paradisiacally, as a kind of modern Robinson Crusoe variant. This setting does fit well as a background for the alternating outbursts of anger and the obsessive longings of Marleen in particular. At times the storyline comes across as a bit dramatized and hardly develops and at times jumps from one subject to another. The dialogues suffer a bit from the shortcoming that you see more in films from Dutch soil, the lyrics are not always as strong and are sometimes recited a bit. Couldn’t such an obsessive love affair set a little more fire in the dialogues? However, it does not really detract from the whole.
The end seems a bit forced and you can already see it from afar. A little more subtlety could have been done here. We will not hold that against the director Colette Bothof, it remains a matter of personal preference.